Reading that title makes me a little sad. Out of 30 possible positions, finishing 26th overall isn't something to write home about after all. It's no real surprise that I'm feelin' kinda blue, especially considering they only improved a whopping three positions since last year. They, of course, did not make the playoffs either.
Even still, with all that in mind, it is very exciting to be a Kings fan. Things are definitely looking up and no matter what their final record says, most Kings fan had a few wonderful surprises this year.
The biggest treat to me over the course of the last 82 games that was the fact that the team wasn't out of the playoff picture as early this year. And by early I mean INSANLY early. My beloved team were so bad last year, they were actually mathematically out of the playoff race before CHRISTMAS. Talk about sad. At least this year I could still be excited about hockey in March. March! That's unheard of as of late with my Kings. Things must be looking up.
Let's not forget the incredible surprises that came to the team this year. Namely Doughty. This 2nd round pick just a few months prior to season start ended up logging more ice time on the team than any other player. Better yet, he looked and acted like a pro every step of the way. Yes, we knew the kid was good but, I don't think anybody saw that coming.
Talk about 'never saw that coming'; Quick. Wow. Ersberg even. Wow. Los Angeles has never built their own goalie squad, usually turning to patchwork trades to get them through. Now though, with these 2... I'll just say my expectations have been blown out the window.
Personally for me though, Purcell was a huge highlight. I love that a Newfoundlander plays on the team. I've been a Kings fan a very long time now and this has to be the first time this occurrence has arisen. To top that, he's a damn good player. I hope that he works at his game over the summer to help solidify his spot in the roster. Every good team deserves a 'Newfie'.
So yeah, next season promises a to be a spectacular season. This young team (youngest in the NHL this season) now get to take what they've learned and evolve. Work hard on their games over the summer and all come prepared next year.
That's what Deano wants. That's what we all want.
LA Kings, Hockey, NHL